Syllabus

CRITICAL THINKING & METHODS OF INQUIRY
LDST 250-01/02: SPRING 2020
MON./WEDS. 1.30-2.45/3-4.15 JEPSON HALL 107
COURSE WEBSITE: HTTPS://BLOG.RICHMOND.EDU/CRITICALTHINKING/

Dr. Kristin M.S. Bezio Office Hours: Sign up for appointments online at https://10to8.com/book/qxkxch-free/
kbezio@richmond.edu Office Phone: 804-287-6045
Office: Jepson Hall 135

COURSE DESCRIPTION
The goal of this course is to help students develop critical thinking skills and provide an introduction to methods of research inquiry. In a society inundated with information from modern media – television, radio, movies, news, and the internet – it is crucial that we as responsible citizens be able to distinguish the good information from the bad, the truth from falsehood. Leaders are frequently required to make judgments about topics and in situations they know little about – critical thinking skills help them to assess what information they have in order to make good judgments about people, information, and ideas. It is also important for us – whether we are leaders, followers, or both – to be able to view the information and opinions with which we are presented from multiple standpoints, and to be able to assess and judge what we see and hear in context and with regard to our own ethics and mores. As members of a university, national, and global community, it is our responsibility to question not only what appears in the media, but the ideals and ideologies we already hold; as critical thinkers, it is important for us to bring these critical skills to bear not only in our examination of leadership and on the leaders we have chosen to follow, but also in our efforts to maintain life-long learning.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
In this course, students will learn the following skills:
– How to critically read, listen, and observe
– How to evaluate information and locate bias
– How to analyze arguments and systems
– How to anticipate problems and counterarguments
– How to construct an analytical and well-researched argument in writing and in speech
– How to reflect on their own views and biases

REQUIRED TEXTS
There are no books required for this course. Instead, you will be given access to a variety of articles and chapters on BlackBoard. Please purchase one or more binders (3-ring, spiral, whatever makes you happy) and create a hard-copy course packet of these readings to bring to class as we go through the semester. (There are a lot of readings when you don’t have textbooks, so you may need either one fat binder or multiple smaller ones to fit everything in.)

LDST 250 Bezio Syllabus Sprg 2020